Letherette - Brown Lounge, Vol. 4
Brown Lounge, Vol. 4
Who are Letherette you may ask? For those not in the know the electronic production duo might be foreign but in production circles when discussing some of the best beat makes they have to be in the conversation. Somewhat similar to MF Doom, Madlib or J. Dilla but with a very distinct European style mixed in. They are able to find this balance between French House and Hip Hop that feels warm and fuzzy right from the start. If you are looking for lyrics, or something other than a collection of super strong hooks than Brown Lounge, Vol. 4 is not the record for you. This album is about experimentation and exploration finding new places where Hip Hop beats can go. Sure trap is taking Hip Hop into new and exciting directions, but that music really does loose the soul of New York style hip hop. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing because as we've seen over the past year when artists try to make "Old School Hip Hop:" albums they could not sound more dated and out of touch. This record though isn't about going back, it about using those sounds and vibes in a modern way, bringing Hip Hop a more electronic dance and Disco vibe. "I Need You" is the first track which focuses more on the vibey electro vibe and less on the Hip Hop, but it still fits right in with the narrative going on here. It also features these heavily affected chopped up vocals that are unintelligible but oh so sweet. When you first look at the run time it can seem a bit daunting, but the actual album is only 35 minutes long with a continuous mix of all the tracks at the end for long listening delight.
When you listen to this record you almost immediately buy in to the sense of excitement and beauty. This record feels jarringly like Jansport J's P H A R A O H but instead of embracing the cold and occasionally quiet streets of New York when it's snowing this album is a journey through a place that is alive and buzzing. There is less of a lean back sense of this record and more of a lean in, engage with what Letherette are doing. That want this music to be bold and standout but still work in the background of a hip club or fancy restaurant. Not to say this music is filler in any sense, but it has the ability to slip into the background while still making you take notice. The album closes on a slow piano line with "Nautilus" easing you into the albums closing rather than a jarring shift. Top to bottom this a beautifully complex and diverse record that trasncends the need for lyrics to convey a point. This short tracks of beats might be a bit hard to digest for some but once you sit back and allow it to wash over you are in for a real experience. Don't sleep.
8.9 out of 10